Al Hrynyshyn, Chair

Al is a retired geologist, with a BS from the University of Wyoming and MS from Utah State University. He worked for several years in the petroleum industry and spent many years as an  educator teaching geology, physics, and chemistry at every level from middle school to university and adult ed.

He and his wife (a retired biology teacher) discovered the beauty of the Willamette Valley and moved here from Utah. They own a small ranch in the hills west of Junction City, and are currently involved in a rehabilitation project with that. They are thrilled to call Oregon home and enjoy exploring and experiencing all the great things the Beaver State has to offer!

Al believes soil and water are two of our most important resources, and is excited to bring his enthusiasm and experience to UWSWCD. Whether for commercial benefit or conservation, he is interested in working with landowners to enhance the quality of their land and water for the benefit and enjoyment of all.  He is a great addition to the Board and District.

Zone 1 Director

Gary Jensen, Sec/Treas.

Gary’s education began with a BS in Forest Management that was followed by a BS in Accounting along with additional studies in Education.  He has spent over 40 years working as an industrial forester for various companies in the Northwest, including 20 years for Lane Plywood, Inc. Following these experiences he had the opportunity to expand life experiences by teaching high school forestry and providing forestry consulting services to land owners of our region.

He served 30 plus years between active and reserve duty as an engineering officer in the United States Marine Corp retiring as a Colonel.  Today he and his wife oversee the stewardship of their family tree farm in Lane County.

Gary is currently Chair of the Upper Willamette Soil & Water Conservation District, President for the Lane County Small Woodlands Association and a member of the Oregon Soil & Water Conservation Commission under Oregon Department of Agriculture.

Zone 3 Director

Ralph Perkins, Vice-Chair

Ralph has been with the UWSWCD for at 25+ years . He has always been interested in Natural Resources. Ralph quickly learned the UWSWCD's mission and philosophy aligned with his. He also found that most of the people working in natural resources field are 'hard working and nice folks'. He is active with the McKenzie Watershed Council.

Ralph worked as a high school teacher for 35 years and taught forestry and natural resources for 25 years. He owns and manages an 18 acre property (mostly timberland) and has an assortment of farm animals and pets. Ralph loves fishing and most outdoor activities.

Zone 5 Director

Mary Durfee Ph.D., Zone 2 Director

Mary Durfee is Professor Emerita of government at Michigan Technological University, which is on Lake Superior. She was U.S. Co-chair of The Lake Superior Binational Forum, a citizen advisory body that advised the governments of the U.S. and Canada. She has published on Great Lakes water quality. She and her husband moved to Eugene because she had good memories of childhood in Oregon. 

Zone 2 Director

Abel Kloster, Zone 4 Director

A fourth generation Oregon native, Abel is well acquainted with the forests and fields of the Pacific Northwest where he has been a farmer and restoration forester for many years. He is the co-owner of Resilience Permaculture Design, a whole systems design and installation firm specializing in farm and forestry planning and ecological restoration. Abel is a consulting forester with the Oregon Department of Forestry, and writes comprehensive stewardship plans for landowners seeking to develop and regenerate their properties. Together with his wife, Tao Orion, he established the Permaculture program at Aprovecho and oversees the stewardship of Aprovecho's 40 acre educational land trust. Abel has a degree in Land Stewardship for Sustainable Communities from Humboldt State University and is currently completing his Master's degree in Agroforestry from the University of Missouri. 

Zone 4 Director

Chuck Arrera, At Large 1 Director

Chuck grew up working on his uncle's dairy farm in Dufur, Oregon. He attended Oregon State University, graduating with a BS in Agriculture. After graduating from OSU, he worked in the agricultural irrigation business for 5 years before branching off to specialize in municipal water and waste water treatment, pumping and storage.

He lives with his wife on their six acre homestead that includes fenced pasture and a small woodlot. Farming and water resources have always been his passion. He is excited for this opportunity to be of service in a position benefiting our precious resources in the Willamette Valley.   

At Large 1 Director

Malcolm Wilson, At Large 2 Director

Malcolm Wilson is a resident of Eugene and a hobby forester who tries to manage a badly scattered collection of small woodlots throughout the Upper Willamette district.  He is interested in the challenges of balancing the environmental, recreational and economic interests that modern forestry, and by extension all human land-use, faces and believes that the Soil and Water Conservation Districts are uniquely well suited to deal with this challenge.  He is also Professor of Classics (Latin and Greek) at the University of Oregon, with an especial interest in the natural philosophy of Aristotle.

At Large 2 Director

Eric Nusbaum, Associate Director

SWCD Operations Specialist at Oregon Department of Agriculture

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As a conservation district, UWSWCD is a 170(c)1 Organization and can accept tax deductible donations to assist in conservation efforts, education outreach, riparian restoration, improving crop land and restoring wildlife habitat.

Donations of cash, checks or money orders are always accepted and greatly appreciated to help us succeed with our goals.


Checks can be made payable to UWSWCD and mailed to our office, or through PayPal.

Click Here to donate through PayPal.

Thank you for your contributions to our important programs!


780 Bailey Hill Rd, Suite 5

Eugene, OR 97402

(541) 650-3057

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